House of Commons Hansard #221 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was alcohol.

Topics

International TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have yet to stand up to the bullying tactics by the Trump administration. U.S. trade representative Lighthizer has said it is “unreasonable to expect that the United States will continue to...guarantee U.S. companies to invest in...Canada primarily for export to the United States” in NAFTA. This is a serious swipe at our manufacturing supply chains in Canada and our jobs. Enough is enough. Even the Liberal member for Kenora agrees that being charming and polite is not working. We need a stronger approach.

When will the minister stand up against these blatant and extremely aggressive U.S. threats?

International TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me assure the member opposite and all Canadians that at the negotiating table, I absolutely stand up for the Canadian national interests.

I believe that it is right to be polite and when we say “no”, we say “no” with a smile. However, I want to say for Canadians that we will always stand up for our national interests and we will stand up for Canadian values.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Conservative Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance is collecting dividends from his family business, Morneau Shepell. Yesterday we learned that Morneau Shepell does business with Bombardier. As everyone knows, Bombardier got millions of dollars from the government. When a subsidized company contributes indirectly to Morneau Shepell's bottom line, that clearly puts the finance minister in conflict of interest.

My question is a simple one: did the minister recuse himself from all discussions about subsidies with Bombardier?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the Minister of Finance has always worked with the Ethics Commissioner and will continue to do so transparently and proactively to make sure he is in full compliance with the rules that govern us all and to avoid any conflict of interest.

By virtually every economic indicator, the Conservatives gave us our worst 10 years since the Second World War, and they neglected the middle class, so I can understand why they might not like it when we compare their record to ours.

Our finance minister's record speaks for itself: 400,000 jobs, a 40% reduction in child poverty, and 900,000 seniors with more money in their pockets thanks to the guaranteed income supplement.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Conservative Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government does not like the fact that we are focusing on the Minister of Finance's conflict of interest. The government does not like it because what we are saying is true: the minister is working for his own personal interests, when he is in a conflict of interest, and not the interest of all Canadians. We have a number of examples, including Bill C-27 and the Bombardier deal. In any case, the most flagrant is the fact that the minister said he was going to put his assets in a blind trust, but he failed to do so for two years. He misled the House about that.

How can the Minister of Finance continue to act as the government's nice guy while being in a conflict of interest because of his personal affairs?

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance can fulfill his role by acting on the recommendations of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner and working with her, as he has done from the very beginning, to ensure full compliance with the laws and rules that govern us in the House. That is what he has been doing since he was elected and what he continues to do. He did even more than what the commissioner recommended.

Now the Minister of Finance is focusing on working for all Canadians, for the Canadian economy, as he has done brilliantly for the past two years.

EthicsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, today we have learned that Morneau Shepell is managing Bombardier's insurance and pension plans. As former chairman, the Minister of Finance would have known about this contract. Clearly, the finance minister's family company has a huge interest in Bombardier's survival. Last year, the Liberals gave a bailout of over $300 million to this company.

Did the Minister of Finance recuse himself from all discussions around the Bombardier bailout?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that the Minister of Finance has always worked with the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner and acted on her recommendations, one of which was to set up an ethical screen early on to prevent any conflict of interest. That screen has been in place since his election and still is. Last week the minister announced that he would go even further in order to avoid any distraction and continue the work he is doing for Canadians, which is to ensure growth and prosperity for all Canadians.

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, as much as the Liberals are hoping to just move along, the fact is that these are very serious conflicts of interest. Canadians have questions. The Minister of Finance, whether he likes it or not, answers to Canadians.

Regarding the connections with Bombardier that the Minister of Finance has, did the finance minister inform the Ethics Commissioner that Morneau Shepell did business with Bombardier, or did he forget about that just like he forgot about his villa in France?

EthicsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I can reassure the member that the Minister of Finance has, from the get-go, worked with the Ethics Commissioner in a transparent, forthcoming, and proactive manner to make sure he respects all the rules and follows all the recommendations, namely, to put up a conflict of interest screen, which he has done.

The Minister of Finance will keep working for Canadians, as he has done with remarkable results, growing our economy at the fastest pace in the G7. We are the envy of the world under the stewardship of the finance minister.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Romeo Saganash NDP Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, last year, the Human Rights Tribunal found the federal government guilty of discrimination against first nations children. An internal memo confirms that Health Canada knew about this serious problem and had no intention of making any changes. After two years and three compliance orders, the Liberals have done nothing.

When will the minister address this major problem that has been lingering in her department or does her government's most important relationship not include indigenous children?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Markham—Stouffville Ontario

Liberal

Jane Philpott LiberalMinister of Indigenous Services

Mr. Speaker, the documents the member opposite is referring to are based on Jordan's principle, which was passed in the House in 2007. Tragically, there were zero cases approved under the previous government. As soon as our government came into power, we got the resources, hundreds of millions of dollars, to fully implement Jordan's principle.

I am pleased to report to the House that now 20,000 cases have been approved. Children are getting access to the care they need, and we will continue to do this work.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, so speaks the woman who is fighting Cindy Blackstock in federal court. The government has fought Cindy Blackstock for 12 years tooth and nail, and now it is is fighting her in court.

Internal documents show that when the ruling came down, her top officials did not even know what Jordan's principle was or how children were being routinely denied services. Health Canada did draw a line in the sand, that it would not accept the definition that would “ensure that First Nations children have access to the same publicly funded health and social services”.

Will the minister please explain why indigenous children do not have that right under her government?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Markham—Stouffville Ontario

Liberal

Jane Philpott LiberalMinister of Indigenous Services

Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by correcting the record. In fact I am working very closely with Dr. Cindy Blackstock. I meet with her on a regular basis, including yesterday, and my staff meets with her regularly as well.

We are determined to bring justice to indigenous children in this country. We know that there are absolutely unacceptable gaps that exist in child and family services and that children are being apprehended at rates that are the highest in the world.

We will work with Dr. Cindy Blackstock and first nations, Métis, and Inuit leaders to bring justice for indigenous children.

Status of WomenOral Questions

October 24th, 2017 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Ludwig Liberal New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, this morning I met with female university presidents. We discussed the challenges of social media messaging, opportunities to increase diversity in university leadership, and their plan moving forward.

Could the Minister of Status of Women update the House on how this government is leading by example and delivering results for gender equality?

Status of WomenOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Peterborough—Kawartha Ontario

Liberal

Maryam Monsef LiberalMinister of Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague from New Brunswick Southwest knows that gender equality is fundamental to our collective success as a country and is at the core of our government's feminist agenda, and we are seeing the results: more economic growth.

In this pursuit, our words matter just as our actions do, so when members across the aisle label our daughters as feminazis, as Barbies, it sets us all back. Our sons and daughters are watching. Let us all lead by example.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the Liberal government is doing everything it can to protect the finance minister with his conflicts of interest and his nine numbered companies with links to Barbados, villas in France, pension plans for Morneau Shepell, and now Bombardier, it is reaching into the pockets of disabled people to pay for its spending problem.

Diabetes Canada says it is concerned that 80% of diabetics making applications are now being denied, whereas a year ago 80% were being approved.

Why do the Liberals care more about protecting the wealthy finance minister than people with type 1 diabetes?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, this government is committed to ensuring that all Canadians have access to the credits and benefits to which they are entitled. The concerns raised by the groups are important. We have already met with these groups and we will continue to work with them.

In contrast to the previous government, our government, in budget 2017, made this credit more accessible by allowing specialized nurse practitioners to fill out their patients' applications.

I asked the agency to improve the collection of data on the credit in order to have a better understanding of the applications and the agency's decision-making process.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Pat Kelly Conservative Calgary Rocky Ridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, disability tax credit applications for type 1 diabetics have gone from 80% approval to 80% rejection since May 2017. Yesterday, the minister denied that she had anything to do with this, but we have obtained a letter that she wrote in July defending these rejections and confirming that CRA changed the forms for doctors. She wrote that “adults who independently manage their insulin therapy...are unlikely to meet the 14-hours...requirement”.

Why did the minister defend these rejections?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to ensuring that all Canadians have access to the credits and benefits to which they are entitled. As I said, in contrast to the former government, we simplified the forms. Our government made the credit more accessible by allowing specialized nurse practitioners to fill out their patients' forms. We will always work on ensuring that people receive the credits to which they are entitled and that Canadians are protected.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Joël Godin Conservative Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, now that the Liberals have gouged small business owners and retail employees, they are going after people with type 1 diabetes.

Yesterday, the Minister of National Revenue said that she had not given any specific instructions and that she did not know what was happening in her department. The Minister of Finance, on the other hand, sees everything that is going on as he looks down from his throne. He has put himself above the law and he is throwing his colleague under the bus.

Can the Minister of National Revenue tell the House that people with type 1 diabetes will be retroactively entitled to the tax credit?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I fully understand the concerns of people with diabetes. My husband died of diabetes-related complications. We met with diabetes advocacy groups and doctors, and we are continuing to work with public servants. We simplified the forms and we have hired specialized nurse practitioners.

As I was saying, unlike the previous government, we will continue to work to make the disability tax credit even more accessible.

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Alex Nuttall Conservative Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals cut off diabetics from the disability tax credit with a stroke of the minister's pen. Meanwhile, they allow the finance minister to use loopholes so he can hide millions of dollars of investments from Canadians. However, when Canadians suffering from diabetes try to access the tax credit, the Liberals claim that they are somehow cheating the system. Why are the Liberals working so hard to protect the finance minister from paying his fair share while they go after Canadians suffering from diabetes?

TaxationOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I fully understand what diabetes can mean for diabetics and their families. As I was saying, my husband died of diabetes-related complications.

We worked with diabetes advocacy groups last year. We met with people from the diabetes association, and we worked with doctors. We remain focused on simplifying the forms and making the disability tax credit more accessible.

ScienceOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Kennedy Stewart NDP Burnaby South, BC

Mr. Speaker, one of the first actions taken by the Minister of Science was to recruit Professor David Naylor to review federal science funding. That is a great move. Our leader, Jagmeet Singh, who has a degree in biology, supports the Naylor report, as does most of Canada's scientific community.

Can the minister tell us how many of the 35 report recommendations the government intends to implement, and most importantly, will it bring forward legislation to establish an independent national advisory council on research and innovation?